We are back for another season of Vancouver Whitecaps Guess the Starting XI and Final Score. As is tradition, thanks to former regular Spencer for starting this many moons ago. It has grown into a great contest and I am appreciative of him for the original idea. Like in seasons past we will break the contest into three ‘seasons’. We will have the “First Half”, which will be Major League Soccer matches 1 through 17. We will have the “Second Half”, which will be MLS matches 18-34. We will have “Non-MLS”, which will be Canadian Championship and anything else that seems to fit.
To keep everyone invested throughout the season, and for those that start late, we will have monthly contests, which will include all matches in said month. In addition, for the monthly contest ONLY, we will have fun, topical, bonus categories. Some will be traditional such as ‘first goal scorer’, ‘first yellow card’, ‘first substitute’, and some will be fun.
A quick reminder of how the scoring goes.
· Contest article will be posted 2-3 days prior to game day.
· We will keep track of first half, second half, and monthly winners so that late joiners will have something to play for.
· I will have a separate ‘contest’ for Voyageurs and any other relevant matches.
· As the MLS season is 34 matches, each half of the season will be based on 17 matches, with your worst two match predictions being dropped. This will allow everyone a few misses or bad guesses throughout the season.
· Predictions will be ‘valid’ if posted HERE half-an-hour prior to the lineup being officially announced, which means 1.5 hours before kickoff.
How Scoring is Determined
· You receive 1 point for every player you correctly guess to be in the Starting XI. Receive 1 bonus point for correctly predicting 10 starters. Receive 3 bonus points for correctly predicting 11 starters.
· You get 5 points for correctly guessing Win/Lose/Draw.
· You receive 1 point for correctly guessing each team’s final score. Receive 1 bonus point for correctly guessing both teams final score (for a total of 3).
· That means, if you correctly predict the Starting XI, Final Score, and Winner, you can earn 22 points!
· After each match, Tres_Tristes_Tigres will tally the scores and update the standings, which will be posted with the following match’s prediction article. I will typically post three sets of standings. First, the results from the previous match. Second, the monthly standings. Third, the first/second half standings (with your worst two match predictions removed).
Match Preview (Sporting Kansas City)
Like last season, I will be accompanied by Tres_Tristes_Tigres, who will help out with calculating the weekly scores and giving some thoughts on how everyone did. We will also preview the upcoming match. Without further ado, let’s get the 2020 season up and running. Match #1.
The Vancouver Whitecaps open their 2020 Major League Soccer season against their, in my opinion, rival Sporting Kansas City. It is a great first opponent that should get the juices flowing. They have had some great matches in the past, so this could be good.
The Whitecaps finished up the preseason three wins, two losses, and one draw. Not great but not terrible either. To close out the preseason, the Caps went with Cavallini, Milinkovic, Reyna, Dajome, Teibert, Hwang, Adnan, Cornelius, Khmiri, Nerwinski, and Crepeau. I would expect something very similar, if not the same, on opening night.
Sporting will have something to prove after a very disappointing 2019. They made some big additions in the offseason, most notably forward Alan Pulido. With the exception of last season, Sporting has always been a defensive powerhouse. If Pulido can address the scoring, then look out. This team could be dangerous! It will be a tough match for the Whitecaps, but I would prefer the Caps face Sporting to start the season, at home, then later on in the season.
What are your thoughts on this match?